With the winter chill falling upon us, heating bills are inevitably heating up.
There are, however, inexpensive ways for homeowners to weatherproof their homes without feeling the heat, so to speak. A few simple do-it-yourself tricks and tips can help lock winter’s harsh climate out of your home.
Hardware stores, like Home Depot, supply the necessary tools required to seal homes off from unwanted drafts and leaks.
Homeowner Amine Elsemine has had experience in weatherproofing his home and says people should prioritize the main source of their air leaks.
“It’s impossible for me to do everything so I start with the one that will have the most impact,” he says. “For me, the most important is my ceiling.”
Hot air rises, Elsemine explains, so look to your attic as the main source of heat escaping. That’s why he says most people look into insulating this area of their homes.
Next, he says, check your windows.
“When you look at your windows, they always install caulking. Sometimes the caulking will crack and that means the air will go through and into your house, so check and make sure no caulking is missing around the perimeter of the window.”
If windows are your problem, re-caulking can be an inexpensive alternative to replacing them with higher efficiency ones.
A window sealing kit can offer similar relief by taping a plastic seal around the perimeter of your windows and putting a hair dryer to the surface. The heat will shrink the plastic, sealing out air leaks.
To find out where cold air is coming in, Elsemine suggests taking a draft detector to the bottom of doors, light switches and outlets. Draft detectors emit a harmless smoke that can signal a leak by its movement.
Based on the result of the draft test, you can look into other inexpensive fixes like a weather seal or sweep for the door frame, as well as weatherproof outlet foam insulators which fit nicely under switch or plug covers.
“The house is like a box, whatever goes out is wasted,” said Elsemine.
Ultimately, if you are really looking to reduce energy costs this winter, Elsemine strongly recommends investing in a programmable thermostat.
“This will reduce fuel consumption when people aren’t in the home or while they are sleeping.”